Thursday, October 19, 2017

Blenheim Ginger Ale

I opened this earlier today:

Blenheim Ginger Ale

Blenheim Ginger Ale
It's a bit hard to make out, but the white stuff that's settled on the bottom is real ginger bits.

Brand: Blenheim Ginger Ale

Origin: Hamer, South Carolina.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Sucrose.

Review: Sometimes, Ginger Ale has too much of a kick in the back of my throat. I think you know what I'm talking about. This had that kick, but it wasn't as intense, and it was a bit smoother than other Ginger Ales that I've had. I'm still not a major fan of Ginger sodas, but this wasn't bad. I'll rank this just above average.

Score: 6 out of 10.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Root Beer Cotton Candy (yes, you read that correctly)

When we stopped at Minnesota's Largest Candy Store last month, I saw a stack FULL of different / random flavors of cotton candy. I just HAD to try this one:

Chocolate Storybrook Root Beer Cotton Candy

Brand: Chocolate Storybook Root Beer Cotton Candy

Origin: Des Moines, Iowa.

Purchase Place: "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store," Jordan, MN.

Sweetener: Sugar.

Review: This was better than I thought it would be. It was a pretty solid root beer flavor, and it wasn't strange or artificial tasting at all. It was a good, fluffy cotton candy with a fun root beer flavor. I shared it with my family, and they all enjoyed it too (photo above taken in my sister's garage where we stood about and ate this).

Check out all the random flavors of Chocolate Storybrook cotton candy on their website. (They also have 3-packs of "themed" cotton candy like their "Rise and Shine Trio:" bacon, coffee, and pancakes with maple syrup cotton candy!)

Score: 9 out of 10.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Stubborn Agave Vanilla Cream Soda

I brought this with me to class last week (my first soda from last month's stop at Minnesota's Largest Candy Store), but we ended up having a very full/busy day, and I wasn't able to drink it. So I finally enjoyed it yesterday at home:

Stubborn Agave Vanilla Cream Soda
In my office at work, although I wasn't able to drink it there.

Brand: Stubborn Agave Vanilla Cream Soda

Origin: Riviera Beach, Florida.

Purchase Place: "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store," Jordan, MN.

Sweetener: Sugar and Stevia.

Review: Nothing really stood out here. It's a decent vanilla cream soda. It's weird that it's "agave" vanilla cream, but there's no agave in the ingredients (maybe that's part of the "natural flavors"). This was fine, but nothing fancy.

Score: 5.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Crystal Pepsi

I was at the convenience store yesterday to get some soda for my boys who were getting over throwing up. In the cooler, I spotted this, and couldn't resist trying it:

Crystal Pepsi

Brand: Crystal Pepsi

Origin: Purchase, NY.

Purchase Place: Marshall Stop, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Review: I tried to ignore the fact that it was clear because I didn't want that to affect what I thought of it. (I feel like I'll "taste" something differently based on it's color.) At first sip, it tasted like a "lighter" Pepsi. It was initially similar to Pepsi, but then there was an extra sweetness. I rarely say this, but it was a bit too sweet for me. It was like an overly sweet cola (which really doesn't sound all that bad to me, but it was just slightly too much). A bit different, not great, but not horrible.

Score: 5 out of 10.

Friday, September 29, 2017

First 5 Hard Ciders / Hard Sodas from Total Wine

Here's my first of 2 "mini reviews" of the hard ciders and hard sodas that I recently picked up at Total Wine:

Lots to try!
All the bottles from last month, but this review is just for 5 of the 9.

Here's my review of my first 5 (in the order that I drank them):

Strongbow "Honey" Hard Apple Cider: This was very sweet and crisp. It was almost just apple cider with a bit of a boozy taste. I thought it was great, but my wife (who has a more refined wine drinkers palette) said it was too sweet. Score: 8.5 out of 10.

Coney Island Hard Lemon Lime Twist: This was stronger on the lemon, and weaker on the lime. So it was quite unique and didn't taste like 7-Up or Sprite. Also making it unique was the smooth finish - it sounds like it could be weird, but the vanilla aftertaste was quite nice. My wife really like this, and I thought it was pretty good. Score: 7.5 out of 10.

Henry's Grape Hard Soda: This was a bit like a grape beer. I don't care for beer, and this had just a little too much of a "hoppy" taste to it. The grape was nice though. If you like beer and grape soda, then try this. Being I'm not a huge beer fan, this was just OK. Score: 6 out of 10.

Not Your Father's Vanilla Cream Ale: There was a MAJOR vanilla smell when I cracked this open (it's made with Madagascar vanilla). The first sip was deliciously heavy on vanilla, but then the beer taste took over and totally ruined it. Again, like I said in the grape soda above, if you like vanilla and beer, then try this. But this was way too "beery" for me. Score: 4 out of 10.

Henry's Hard Sparkling Lemon Lime: This was stronger on the lime than the lemon (so reversed from Coney Island Hard Lemon Lime Twist above), but it was good. It wasn't as interesting as the Coney Island, but still decent. I'll rank this just a bit above average. Score: 6.5 out of 10.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Saranac Diet Root Beer

I opened this yesterday (a HOT afternoon):

Saranac Diet Root Beer
With veggies from our garden in the background.

Brand: Saranac Diet Root Beer.

Origin: Utica, NY.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Review: The initial flavor that hit my lips was strong on the vanilla and very tasty. But then it turned into a steaming pile of crap. I think this was the first "diet" soda that I've had that still uses high fructose corn syrup: this had 35 calories, and one would assume that that means it's just using a lot less HFCS. And it tastes like that. It's not sweet at all. It's thin, weak, and chemically. I was severely disappointed.

Score: 2 out of 10.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Quick Stop at Minnesota's Largest Candy Store

This past weekend, we were headed to Mankato, so we stopped just south of Jordan at Minnesota's Largest Candy Store:

Minnesota's Largest Candy Store

Minnesota's Largest Candy Store
The round dome is the new addition. We got there right when it opened, so it was quiet!

A pack of root beers.

All root beer and sarsaparilla!

This part looked a lot different the last time I was here.

"Pie Sodas" - I've had a few of these and many at the bottom.

Looking down the rows. This is the "fancier" stuff like cookies and pasta.
There's more candy farther down. And puzzles ALL throughout the ceiling.

The new addition. The ceiling isn't quite finished, and it slowly rotates! I have the feeling things will be hanging from it.

Inside the new addition - my boys with an 8' Hulk!

Picking out candy in the new addition. There's lots of fun stuff in here including a Tardis in the middle.

I think this speaks for itself.

Here's posts from the last few years when we've stopped at Minnesota's Largest Candy Store:
- 2015
- 2014
- 2013 (Oct)
- 2013 (Sept)
I grabbed 6 bottles of soda and some root beer cotton candy. Back with reviews on those shortly!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Strawberry Wisco Pop

My wife picked this up for me at Kowalski's when she was there this past weekend. She was wondering if it'd be as "weird" as their Cherry Soda she got me while visiting her sister.

Strawberry Wisco Pop

Brand: Strawberry Wisco Pop.

Origin: Viroqua, WI

Purchase Place: Kowalski's Market, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Organic Sugar.

Review: This had a sharp smell, and I was worried it'd be "weird" like the last Wisco Pop I had. But I was totally wrong. This was REALLY good. It was a pretty smooth, soft strawberry flavor, and it reminded me of tasting jelly as we're making it. It may have been the first soda that I've had where the flavor ("organic strawberry") was listed before the sweetener ("organic sugar"). It was very good, and it went down easily. A very unique strawberry, but very tasty.

Score: 8.5 out of 10.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Squamscot Root Beer

I opened this last night:

Squamscot Root Beer

Brand: Squamscot Root Beer.

Origin: Newfields, New Hampshire.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: The first ingredient is "LIGHTLY carbonated water," and that made it seem a little flat. There was a nice vanilla flavor, but that was about it's only redeeming quality. It was OK, but far from great. I'll rate it just below average.

Score: 4.5 out of 10.